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Tech: Hard Disk Audio recording

11 Nov 01 - 01:58 PM (#590304)
Subject: Hard Disk Audio recording
From: Tom French

Have contemplated doing audio recording on my computer hard disk. Has anyone out there had any experience with doing this? Do you get a relatively flawless audio wave file when inputing with microphones directly to the computer? What suggestions for software that might help the process? Is an external hard disk recorder highly preferable and why?

11 Nov 01 - 03:41 PM (#590342)
Subject: RE: Help: Hard Disk Audio recording
From: GUEST,Frank

Tom, You can get a clean audio wave file but each software program has it's own characteristics. They are not alike.

For best results, get a good condensor mic. They are expensive. You get what you pay for.

I haven't had any experience on stand-alone HD systems. I use Performer with MacIntosh and it has been the industry standard....but again.... you need good mics.

Also in your sound card, you might consider enough imputs so you don't have to rely exclusively on overdubs.


12 Nov 01 - 08:58 AM (#590729)
Subject: RE: Help: Hard Disk Audio recording
From: GUEST,Russ

I've done it. Plugged my minidisc mike directly into the sound card. Used SoundForge. Burned the results to CD. I liked the results but your mileage may vary. It's so easy that you ought to take your PC for a test drive and listen for yourself.

12 Nov 01 - 09:28 AM (#590746)
Subject: RE: Help: Hard Disk Audio recording
From: Maryrrf

I've been recording into a minidisc and then putting it on the hard drive. But I hadn't thought of plugging the minidisc mike directly into the sound card. Duh!!! I'll have to try that!

12 Nov 01 - 10:36 AM (#590793)
Subject: RE: Help: Hard Disk Audio recording
From: English Jon

If what you mean is: is it better than cassette, then yes.

Get the fastest spinning HD you can afford. 7200 rpm or better really. I've got reasonable results with 5400 speed drives with a bit of tweaking, but it gets erratic if you need multiple overdubs. Get the best Mic you can afford. An SM58 will do at the cheap end, but if you can afford 200 or so get an AT4033. It will suit pretty much any instrument and last you for ever. Get the best soundcard you can afford. The latest lot of Creative Labs "soundblaster" cards are suprisingly good, although a bit of research will show you that there are a lot of cards with excellent signal/noise ratios on the market, again 200 gets you something really bloody good.

Final bit of advice, MIC INPUTS ON SOUNCARDS ARE INVARIABLY HORRIBLE. Better to buy a dedicated pre amp, and use the line input. Much cleaner sound that way.

Your main problem will be recording without picking up the noise from the fans in your computer! Mount your HD on rubber (old gloves are fine) and get some of that foam packaging that they pack electrical goods in, the thin sheets are ideal for lining the inside of your computer case, cutting down on surface borne noise.

Hope that helps, Jon